- Mar 23, 2009
NeuroLogica Blog » Naturopathic DelusionsI want the public to fully understand what naturopaths are, because I don’t think that they do. This is a situation common to many cults and pseudosciences – there is a superficial layer of reality that represents the public face of the group, largely crafted for marketing purposes, and then there is the deeper layer of utter nonsense that most people don’t see. Homeopathy is a great example. Unless you are a skeptic or true believer, chances are you think homeopathy is some form of herbalism, rather than the magic potions that it is.
Naturopathy is similar. The superficial marketing level presentation of naturopathy is that its practitioners are medically trained and emphasize nutrition, lifestyle, and natural remedies. I attended a lecture at Yale by a naturopath who summarized their training as, “Everything you get in medical school, plus nutrition.” (The first claim is patently wrong, and the second falsely assumes that medical training does not include nutrition.)
The marketing, however, is working. After a recent article about naturopathy we posted on our Facebook page we had this comment:
How can you stop believing whole food, herbs, sunshine, fresh air, good water, exercise and human touch (which are the foundation of naturopathic medicine) are worse for you than allopathic poisons?
Marketing propaganda successfully internalized.
This summary is an absolute fiction on multiple levels. First, there is no such thing as allopathic medicine. That is a derogatory term invented by Hahnemann (the inventor of homeopathy) to denigrate the medicine of his time (which no longer exists). Second, good nutrition and exercise are part of science-based medicine, not a recent invention by alternative gurus. Finally, this bunny rabbits and sunshine image of naturopathy is a fiction.
Naturopathy is pseudoscience from top to bottom. They may throw in some basic nutrition and lifestyle advice, hardly something you need a special practitioner for, but what makes up the core of naturopathy is pure nonsense. The whole “natural” vibe is just the candy coating.